Mark Mellman (The Hill): Make no mistake: Republicans castigating President Obama for S&P’s ill-considered downgrade are akin to a mugger attacking the mayor, then blaming the sheriff for “letting” him do it.
Republican members of Congress attacked the full faith and credit of the United States by arguing publicly that defaulting on our debts would not be so bad. No rating agency can hear that and remain confident America feels bound and determined to pay its bills.
When every serious GOP economist and most every Republican who has carefully investigated the issue – from Sen. Tom Coburn to former Sen. Alan Simpson – conclude that both spending cuts and revenue increases are required to restore our fiscal heath, but Republican leaders announce they will refuse to appoint anyone to the supercommittee who might even consider eliminating billions in subsidies to oil companies, they not only subordinate the national interest to the interests of Big Oil, they also send an unmistakable message to rating agencies that they aren’t serious about restoring fiscal discipline, thereby mugging America’s credit rating. Then they attack President Obama for what – allowing them to speak freely, if foolishly?
… “Tea Party” is becoming a dirty word …. Republicans running for every office from president to dog catcher are forced to pledge fealty to a group that is increasingly scorned by the American people.
The same could be said of the GOP itself. Just this week CNN/ORC pollsters found 59 percent of Americans harboring unfavorable views of the Republican Party, while only 33 percent offered favorable opinions. At no point in the last two decades has opinion of the Republican Party been so negative …. (While hardly loved, Democrats are 26 points better off than the GOP.)
…. Americans want compromise and moderation, while Republicans emerge from this crisis looking uncompromising in their extremism. Public preference for compromise is clear – three recent polls found 66 percent to 85 percent saying they would rather the parties compromise than stick to their principles.
But the GOP failed this test … Being uncompromising, extreme and in thrall to a movement that is becoming a pariah will hurt the GOP. Unfortunately, it hurts the country even more.
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